Documents with valuable information are important for every organization. And after a while, these documents begin to pile up. More people means more document creation and especially consultation. An effective document management solution can save your organization a lot of valuable time and head scratching. Did you know that 1 day out of 5 is spent looking for information and thus the right document?
What do we define as ‘document management’?
Document management is a system or a process to capture, track and store digital documents. These documents can be a PDF, e-mail, or a digital image (scan) of a paper-based content. But modern day document management is much more than capturing and storing documents. Good document management involves standardized document creation, approval flows, smart search, document or context based security, etc…
3 steps towards effective document management:
1. Define your way of working
There are a ton of different document formats. Invoices, manuals, engineering drawings, service requests, contracts, confirmations and packing slips… they all exist as a document.
The way you create and save a document is highly personal. Everyone learned to create documents at one point and has their preferred method of creating and managing those. That’s why, in a growing organization, it’s important to have a standardized method of creating and storing documents (while maintaining flexibility of course). That way, employees have one single point of access, one “single source of truth” which makes searching and working with documents easier and faster.
This “way of working” is highly defined by the software solutions in place and the specific processes of the market the organization is working in.
2. Say no to attachments
A document that is being sent in an attachment is to be avoided in a modern and productive organization. Today, working together on documents is easier than ever. Hyperlinks make sure you always work on the most recent version of that document.
Which brings us to a separate topic: versioning. Version control or “versioning” is an extra benefit of working with good document management technology. This makes sure that multiple people use the latest version or get to choose which version is the best – and use that to move forward. This is extremely important if you want to take collaboration seriously.
A separate e-mail attachment is still possible, but use this in a well defined business process.
3. Document warehousing
Real business value comes with a good document warehouse. Where default applications takes care of document flows and document storage, a document warehouse gives meaning and builds realationships between documents. All of this is possible thanks to “meta data” – pieces of information that can be added to your documents.
Example of relationships:
You sell a product to a customer. That customer receives a sales order. That sales order can contain multiple stock items – and these stock items have technical fact sheets. These documents will be linked thanks to their relationship with each other.
We’ve developed your document warehouse.
Want to know more?
Take a look at our end-to-end document warehousing solution: “Ex Arte Raptor”